The government has begun the process of finding a new Governor for the Central Bank.

It follows the formal appointment of the bank's current boss, Philip Lane, to a senior role at the European Central Bank.

Mr Lane has been appointed to the ECB's executive board and is expected to take over as its new chief economist at the start of June.

He will succeed the outgoing chief economist Peter Praet and will serve a non-renewable term of eight years.

Mr Lane had long been tipped for the position and was the sole nominee in January.

In the past two months his candidacy has been approved by European finance ministers, the European Parliament and - today - the European Council.

Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe welcomed the appointment and said Mr Lane had "made an important contribution over the last four years as Governor of the [Irish] Central Bank.

"This is an important and prestigious position. I am confident that Philip will excel in his new role at the ECB, and I wish him every success."

The minister has separately sought expressions of interest for the position of governor of the Central Bank of Ireland.

The job is being offered with a seven year term and potential candidates have until the 5th of April to apply.

"To ensure as broad a search as possible, this call for expressions of interest will be accompanied by an extensive national and international executive search process to identify suitably qualified candidates in Ireland and abroad," the Government said in a statement.